Prince Edward Island now has a program in place that will assist the police if a child goes missing. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Charlottetown City Police, Summerside Police Services, Kensington and Borden Police Departments have teamed up with the media to implement the Amber Alert program in this province.
Amber Alert was created in 1996 when 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Arlington, Texas. The tragedy shocked and outraged the entire community. Residents contacted radio stations in the Dallas area and suggested they broadcast special "alerts" over the airwaves so that they could help prevent such incidents in the future. In response to the community's concern for the safety of local children, the Dallas/ Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law enforcement agencies in Northern Texas and developed this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children.
Amber Alert is a joint project of Police Departments on Prince Edward Island, RCMP and the media. It is a voluntary, cooperative program that sends an emergency alert to the public when a child has been abducted and it is believed that his/her life is in grave danger. It can only be activated by an authorized user of this joint project and is only used for serious child abduction cases. It is important that this program be used appropriately and not be overused.
Four criteria must be met for activation of the Amber Alert system:
- Confirmation that a child or an individual with a proven mental or physical disability has been abducted;
- Police believe that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death;
- There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor and suspect's vehicle to ensure the public can identify these elements;
- The alert can be issued in a time frame that would provide a reasonable expectation that the child could be returned or the abductor could be apprehended prior to fleeing.
Should the above criteria not be met, the AMBER Alert will NOT be activated.
For more information, contact: "L" Division RCMP Media Relations Unit at 902-566-7160
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